Why Sleep Is Critical To Brain Health

We all know that sleep plays a vital role in our overall health profile; however, Americans, as a whole, are simply not getting the rest we need consistently. A 2013 report indicated that, on average, the average American only slept 6.8 hours every night. Additionally, a whopping 40% of those studied admitted to getting under six hours of sleep on a regular basis, a significant decrease from a 1910 survey that showed people, on average, slept for approximately nine hours every night.

Getting Sufficient Rest Offers Several Essential Brain Benefits

Unfortunately, our significant slumber downturn can have serious consequences on our overall brain health. Whether you have insomnia or are just a diehard night owl, it’s important to understand the importance of getting a good night’s rest and its impact on your cognitive abilities. Sufficient snooze hours offer a myriad of critical brain health benefits, including:

Toxin Reset

Think that when you’re at rest, your brain’s at rest too? Guess again. Various parts of your brain go into hyper-drive after hours, proving far more active at night than during the day. One especially critical part of the brain that requires adequate sleep is the glymphatic system. This newly discovered brain system is tasked with draining and recycling toxins found in the brain, making it crucial to get enough sleep every night.

Establishing Memories

Many people are surprised to learn that they may actually be creating memories while they are sleeping. Acetylcholine, one of the primary chemicals involved in memory creation, is also released when we are asleep and dreaming, helping our memories gain a firm foothold in our minds.

Organizing The Chaos

Our waking hours can bring thousands of cognitive experiences. On any given day, we can easily be exposed to countless visual, auditory, and neurosensory stimuli, making it virtually impossible for our brains to organize it all properly while awake. Fortunately, our cognitive functioning does some of their best work when we are asleep, tagging, organizing, and archiving all of the day’s chaos for future retrieval.

Tips To Getting Sufficient Sleep

Worried that you’re not getting enough rest consistently? Following a few tips can help increase both the quantity and quality of your sleep. Avoid caffeine and nicotine later in the day and refrain from consuming alcoholic beverages. Create a schedule, so you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Develop a relaxing routine that includes meditation, reading, or even a warm bath. You can also eliminate screen time once you’ve retired for the evening to increase your chances of getting a good night’s rest.

Finally, if you’re struggling to get enough sleep, you may want to consider seeking treatment from a chiropractic neurologist. A skilled and experience chiropractic neurologist can help you get to the root of your sleeplessness and develop a treatment plan to help you get the rest needed for improved brain health. Contact us today to hear more. 

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